The hacking group Anonymous says it will attack Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) on Feb. 14.
According to Anonymous’ Twitter account, the hacktivist group wants to shut down Goldman Sachs’ Facebook and Twitter pages on Valentine's Day to express its disdain for the financial behemoth. The group tweeted out a request to its 869,000-plus Twitter followers on Thursday to join in the cyberattack.
Anonymous released several e-flyers in several languages from its various Twitter accounts. All the e-flyers say the attack will involve three steps: First, Anonymous is encouraging supporters to report the Goldman Sachs Facebook and Twitter accounts as spam. Then, the flyer provides a URL where users can fill out an abuse form on Twitter (you can do the same on Facebook), reporting Goldman Sachs for Twitter malfeasance. In the final step, Anonymous followers are asked to make "friendly" phone calls to Goldman Sachs' offices in London, Paris or Dublin, depending on which flyer they saw.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) February 7, 2013
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“Operation Goldman Sachs" is being run through an official Tumblr page. "#OpGm" isn't the first time that Anonymous targeted Goldman Sachs. In 2011, Anonymous published the private personal information of a number of Goldman employees, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein. CNN wrote at the time that a Twitter user named CabinCr3w tweeted out that he had “doxxed,” or released, personal info of Goldman’s CEO, including Blankenfein’s age, education, recent addresses and legal cases he had been involved in. At the time, Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the leak.
Reports also surfaced recently that Anonymous had hacked into the U.S. Federal Reserve. In an interview with ABC News, ex-Anonymous member Greg Housh said the hack was a result of the lack of prosecution of “big bankers that caused a lot of the problems we’ve had over the last few years.” Housh also said to expect more Anonymous attacks on governments in the future.
The hack into the Federal Reserve resulted in the leaking of personal information of more than 4,000 bankers. ABC News says the Federal Reserve hack may have been a part of "Operation Last Resort," which was started earlier this year after Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz commited suicide over charges of wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and recklessly damaging a protected computer. Swartz, a hero and now a martyr to activists, faced as much as 35 years in prison if found guilty.
According to Insider Media Group, the planned "operation" is a reaction to a recent interview given by Huw Pill, a chief economist at Goldman. While talking to the Huffington Post, Pill suggested that France lower wages by approximately one-third in an effort to increase competition in the labor force. The Operation Goldman Sachs Tumblr page is written in French, and might be an indicator that French hackers linked to Anonymous got the idea for the attack on Goldman from those comments.
Advocates are turning to Twitter to express their support for Operation Goldman Sachs, under the hashtag #OpGm. Here are a few examples:
Please, please tango down all of their internet acces; webiste, Twitter and Facebook accounts ! #OpGm
— Yannick Riviere (@Y_Riviere) February 7, 2013
— costerg (@ccosterg) February 5, 2013
— Anonymous (@AnonOpsLegion) February 7, 2013